Entertainment

The Best Movies of the 2000s  

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List Rules Films that had their debut theatrical run between 2000 and 2009

List of the best films released between the years 2000 and 2009, the era frequently referred to as the '00s or the "aughts." Though the actual decade is typically counted from the first year (2001) through the tenth (2010), for movies, it seems easier to organize it differently. (Most people don't consider movies released in 1990 to be '80s movies, for example.) So, what are the best 2000s movies? 

The following list mixes films from every genre, and originating in nations from all around the globe. (European cinema seems overall more predominant, with a number of French, British and Italian films making appearances, but several Asian productions - from China, Japan and Korea - are also represented.) There is also a significant overlap of popular mainstream films (such as Christopher Nolan's "Dark Knight" and Peter Jackson's blockbuster "Lord of the Rings" trilogy) along with more art house or niche titles. Interestingly, a number of films that were not massive box office successes or particularly noteworthy on theatrical release have grown in esteem over the years. David Fincher's "Zodiac" was seen as a bit of a let-down when it came out, and was overshadowed by other notable 2007 releases like "No Country for Old Men" and "There Will Be Bood," but now outperforms most of the director's other work in this decade. Similarly, the low-key comic adaptation "Ghost World" from Terry Zwigoff came and went in 2000 and now makes a high appearance on this list. (This may owe in part to the ongoing popularity of Scarlett Johansson, for whom "Ghost World" provided a breakthrough role.)

Vote for your favorite '00s movies on the list below, and if you want to have more of an impact on the rankings (and maybe sneak some of your own favorite films on there), re-rank the list and make your own version.

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26
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Movies of the 2000s
Zhang Ziyi, Michelle Yeoh, Chow Yun-Fat
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is a 2000 wuxia film. An American-Chinese-Hong Kong-Taiwanese co-production, the film was directed by Ang Lee and featured an international cast of Han actors, ...more
27
Avatar is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Movies of the 2000s
Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez
Avatar is a 2009 American epic science fiction film written and directed by James Cameron, and starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez, Joel David Moore, Giovanni ...more
28
Donnie Darko is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Movies of the 2000s
Drew Barrymore, Ashley Tisdale, Jake Gyllenhaal
Donnie Darko is a 2001 American supernatural drama film written and directed by Richard Kelly and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Drew Barrymore, Patrick Swayze, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Noah Wyle, Jena ...more
29
Mulholland Drive is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Movies of the 2000s
Naomi Watts, Billy Ray Cyrus, Melissa George
Mulholland Drive is a 2001 American neo-noir mystery film written and directed by David Lynch and starring Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, and Justin Theroux. It tells the story of an aspiring ...more
30
Minority Report is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Movies of the 2000s
Cameron Diaz, Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell
Minority Report is a 2002 American neo-noir science fiction mystery-thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and loosely based on the short story of the same name by Philip K. Dick. It is set ...more
31
American Psycho is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Movies of the 2000s
Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe, Jared Leto
American Psycho is a 2000 American neo-noir satirical psychological horror film directed by Mary Harron, based on the 1991 novel by Bret Easton Ellis. Wealthy New York City investment banking ...more
32
Shaun of the Dead is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Movies of the 2000s
Martin Freeman, Simon Pegg, Bill Nighy
Shaun of the Dead is a 2004 British horror comedy film directed by Edgar Wright and written by Wright and Simon Pegg, and starring Pegg and Nick Frost. Pegg plays Shaun, a man attempting to get ...more
33
Batman Begins is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Movies of the 2000s
Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson
Batman Begins is a 2005 superhero film directed by Christopher Nolan, based on the DC Comics character. After training with his mentor (Liam Neeson), Batman (Christian Bale) begins his fight to ...more
34
Gangs of New York is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Movies of the 2000s
Cameron Diaz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Liam Neeson
Gangs of New York is a 2002 American fictionalized historical drama film set in the mid-19th century in the Five Points district of Lower Manhattan in 1863. The film was directed by Martin ...more
35
Harry Potter and the Prisoner ... is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Movies of the 2000s
Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, Gary Oldman
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is a 2004 fantasy film directed by Alfonso Cuarón and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It is based on the novel of the same name by J. K. ...more
36
Little Miss Sunshine is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Movies of the 2000s
Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston, Toni Collette
Little Miss Sunshine is a 2006 American comedy-drama road film and the directorial film debut of the husband-wife team of Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris. The screenplay was written by ...more
37
The Pianist is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Movies of the 2000s
Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Emilia Fox
The Pianist is a 2002 historical drama film co-produced and directed by Roman Polanski, scripted by Ronald Harwood, and starring Adrien Brody. It is based on the autobiographical book The ...more
38
Unbreakable is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Movies of the 2000s
Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Robin Wright
Unbreakable is a 2000 American superhero drama film written, produced, and directed by M. Night Shyamalan and starring Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson. The film tells the story of ...more
39
The Incredibles is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Movies of the 2000s
Samuel L. Jackson, Holly Hunter, Jason Lee
The Incredibles is a 2004 American computer-animated superhero film directed by Brad Bird. A family of undercover superheroes, while trying to live the quiet suburban life, are forced into ...more
40
The Hangover is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Movies of the 2000s
Mike Tyson, Bradley Cooper, Heather Graham
The Hangover is a 2009 American comedy film, co-produced and directed by Todd Phillips and written by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore. It is the first film of The Hangover trilogy. The film stars ...more
41
Casino Royale is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Movies of the 2000s
Alessandra Ambrosio, Eva Green, Daniel Craig
Casino Royale is the twenty-first film in the Eon Productions James Bond film series and the first to star Daniel Craig as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. Directed by Martin Campbell and ...more
42
Shrek is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Movies of the 2000s
Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, Mike Myers
Shrek is a 2001 American computer-animated fantasy-comedy film produced by PDI/DreamWorks, released by DreamWorks Pictures, directed by Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson, featuring the voices of ...more
43
Monsters, Inc. is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Movies of the 2000s
Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi
Monsters, Inc. is a 2001 American computer-animated comedy film directed by Pete Docter, produced by Pixar Animation Studios, and released by Walt Disney Pictures. John Lasseter and Andrew ...more
44
The Royal Tenenbaums is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Movies of the 2000s
Gwyneth Paltrow, Alec Baldwin, Bill Murray
The Royal Tenenbaums is a 2001 American comedy-drama film directed by Wes Anderson and co-written with Owen Wilson. The film stars Gene Hackman, Anjelica Huston, Bill Murray, Gwyneth Paltrow, ...more
45
O Brother, Where Art Thou? is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Movies of the 2000s
George Clooney, John Goodman, Holly Hunter
O Brother, Where Art Thou? is a 2000 adventure comedy film written, produced, edited, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, and starring George Clooney, John Turturro, and Tim Blake Nelson, with ...more
46
Zodiac is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Movies of the 2000s
Robert Downey Jr., Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo
Zodiac is a 2007 American mystery-thriller film directed by David Fincher and based on Robert Graysmith's non-fiction book of the same name. Zodiac tells the story of the manhunt for a person ...more
47
Training Day is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Movies of the 2000s
Eva Mendes, Snoop Dogg, Denzel Washington
Training Day is a 2001 American thriller film directed by Antoine Fuqua, written by David Ayer, and starring Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke. The story follows two LAPD narcotics officers over ...more
48
Cast Away is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Movies of the 2000s
Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt, Chris Noth
Cast Away is a 2000 American adventure drama film directed and produced by Robert Zemeckis and starring Tom Hanks as a FedEx employee stranded on an uninhabited island after his plane accident ...more
49
In Bruges is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Movies of the 2000s
Colin Farrell, Ralph Fiennes, Matt Smith
In Bruges is a 2008 British-American comedy film written and directed by Martin McDonagh. The film stars Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson as two Irish hitmen in hiding, with Ralph Fiennes as ...more
50
Mystic River is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Movies of the 2000s
Emmy Rossum, Sean Penn, Kevin Bacon
Mystic River is a 2003 American mystery drama film directed and scored by Clint Eastwood. It stars Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, Laurence Fishburne, Marcia Gay Harden, and Laura Linney. ...more